The Best Jazz & Noise of 2019…?

As a card-carrying pedant, of course this isn’t the “best” jazz and noise of the last year. It’s just what I like the most out of what I’ve heard… These are the albums that sum up 2019 for me – dense, disorientating, immersive, cathartic… and then there’s also a strong vein of what might be heard as more conventional jazz, until you listen more closely, perhaps.

In the proverbial no particular order…

CHORD
“CHORD II”
(punos music)

CHORD, your friendly neighbourhood gateway recording to dense, textured, longform guitar soundscapes.

Ilmiliekki Quartet
“Land of Real Men”
(We Jazz)

Long-awaited new material from Ilmiliekki and it doesn’t disappoint. The pure and subtle jazz direction continues…

空間現代 Kukangendai
Palm
(Ideologic Organ)

“Meanwhile, the quaintly mammalian brain tries to impose a perceived rhythm or structure, but that rhythm or structure is never quite where the ear perceives it to be…” Full review here.

The Master Musicians of Dyffryn Moor
“Contemporary Protest Music”
(self-published)

Immerse yourself in a percussion trance, with added political sensibility.

MPH
“Taxonomies”
(Discus Music)

“… the introspective, unhurried flow of ideas and interplay, and the almost songlike structures lull the ear, leading to a number of ‘How did we get here?’ moments… ” Full review here.

Sean Noonan Pavees Dance
“Tan Man’s Hat”
(RareNoise)

Harmolodic space-jazz-rock for this century with all the right ingredients, not least Ava Mendoza’s guitar and Malcolm Mooney’s voice.

Anthony Osborne
“An Unknown Animal”
(Linear Obsessional)

“…intimate. Open. Enticing in its sweeps of sound and mood. In places, ambient even… noise but not noisy.” Full review here.

RAIC
“Multiplicity”
(Thirsty Leaves Music)

“The landscape is moving, deceptive, harsh, beautiful, and the journey worth experiencing. Again and again.” Full review here.

Sgt. Elyas
“Mountains of Powerless”
(Wormhole World)

“…pulsating industrial soundscapes, glacial guitar feedback sculptures, and outworld rituals for a portable, battery-powered age.” Full review here.

Sly & The Family Drone
“Gentle Persuaders”
(Love Love Records)

Not sure about “windmills of your mind” (nor “canyons”) but the big empty spaces in my mind are now filled with this.

Until next year…